Yuma, AZ – There are a number of different ways that a prenuptial agreement can affect a divorce in Arizona. The state does recognize these documents as a type of contract that is made in anticipation of marriage, which will have certain effects during the marriage and in the event of a divorce. However, there may also be issues with the validity of the document and other problems that emerge. Anyone who needs to draft a prenuptial agreement, or may be affected by one that is already in place will benefit from legal advice.
Times when a prenuptial agreement may be necessary
Many couples consider drafting a premarital agreement for a number of different reasons. Their own assets or debt that they bring into the marriage can have serious financial consequences, and the document usually states how financial matters will be handled. Some people already have children from prior marriage or relationship, and things like custody and visitation rights can be clearly dictated by the agreement. One spouse may also own their own business, which is tied to a significant amount of property and money. This spouse can protect their business interests by having their partner agree to not make any claims to the business, if a divorce should ever happen. A prenuptial contract generally sets out limitations, and functions almost like an insurance contract if the marriage should fail.
Arizona’s requirements for prenuptial agreements
Arizona law has a few different requirements that must be met if the document is to be considered valid. It must be a formal document in writing. This means that verbal or informal agreements will not be honored. The documents must have been signed voluntarily by both spouses. This means that there cannot be any evidence of duress, intoxication, or other problems that may reduce a person’s capacity to understand the agreement and have a fair chance to review the terms and agree to them. There also needs to be a complete and thorough disclosure of each party’s financial situation, including income and assets. One spouse cannot hide what they own and deceive the other while trying to get them to agree.
If any of these elements are missing, a court that is reviewing the prenuptial agreement may not honor it during the divorce. When this happens, the couple will be treated as if the document does not exist throughout their divorce proceedings.
Reviewing the situation with a local lawyer
Anyone who is subject to a prenuptial agreement or planning on drafting one should get specific advice from a local divorce and family law attorney. Schneider and Onofry are available to provide guidance throughout the divorce and any other related issues.
Firm contact info:
207 W. 2nd St., Yuma AZ 85364